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SOCIAL   AND   POLITICAL    LIFE           199

rendering. He says: "You can expect generally about ten
honest men in a country (which is a pretty good average).
But there are, on the other hand, probably a hundred offices.
As a result, you have more official positions than honest men
to fill them, so that you have ten honest men and ninety crooks
to fill all of the positions. Hence there will be more likelihood
of a general misrule rather than a good government. Therefore,
the wise king believes in a system and not in personal talents,
in a method and not in personal honesty," Hanfeitse denied
that a "parental government" would ever work, because, he
pointed out, even parents do not always succeed in governing
their children, and it would be unreasonable to expect rulers
to love the people more than parents love their children.
Hanfeitse coldly and humorously asked how many disciples
Confucius got with all his tremendous benevolence and
righteousness, and was not the fact that even Confucius could
obtain only seventy disciples among hundreds and thousands
. of people a clear proof of the futility of virtue? Was it not
unreasonable to expect all rulers to walk in virtue like Con-
fucius and all their subjects to love virtue like his seventy
disciples? There is a kind of pleasing cynicism, dry humour,
and sound sense in those words.

Hanfeitse's description of the ills of his country agrees to a
fault with those of present-day China. So similar was the
character of the officials and people of those days that, in
reading him, we might easily forget that he was not depicting
modern China. He traced the corruption of the officials and
the apathy of the people of his day to the lack of legal protec-
tion, to the fault of the system. Instead of moralizing about it,
he preached that it was the system of government and the lack
of public legal protection that was at fault. He said all troubles
lay in the lack of a "public or just law." He hated the Con-
fucianists of his day and called them a pack of gabbling fools,
which might be fittingly applied to so many of our "long-gown
patriots" to-day. He said of the officials of that time that they
were encouraged in their corruption because there was no
punishment for them. He said in these very words: "Although
their national territory is sacrificed, their families have got
rich. If they succeed, they will be powerful, and if they fail,